Friday, 27 December 2013

Kiwi Brevet prep - sub24 bikepack - Lake Manchester

Happy holidays! Presents, happiness on the kids faces, spending time with the family and lavish meals, time off work to get out riding.

Lets rewind to that last paragraph and focus on two key phrases - lavish meals and riding time. Abundant food at xmas means lotsa calories to burn - I've spent the better part of 3 months working off 8kgs I've had since Alaska (I think my body went into some sort of bear-hibernation storage phase) and the less I carry up those bergs in New Zealand the better.

Sub24 time with Wayne, meeting place was Gap Creek, 1pm. Hot day too, around 35C. Perfect day for a bit of Kiwi Brevet prep, mental conditioning and basic HTFU training, lugging a loaded bikepack rig up the hilly terrain outside of Brisbane.  

The familiar Indro bridge. Gateway to adventure and vital link for the 'River Loop'. You haven't lived if you've not done the Brisbane River Loop...  

To get to Gap Creek, I took a back way on some fun single.

Always ride with someone who will laugh at your jokes.

We headed up South Boundary, the threat of thundery storms remained just that - a threat - with booming all around us and a few drops of rain to tease us.

Hydrate...and flex for the camera. Wayne is running a heap of BikeBagDude schwag - custom framebag, handlebar bag and feedbags. BikeBagDude is a close mate of ours, all his gear is Aussie made and built tough like its users.

This is very close to how I'll run my Fargo for the Kiwi. Yes, I know I keep sayin', 'I'll have a full writeup on it', you'll just have to wait.

  • No, it is not the standard fork
  • Yes, there is a bouncy ball under the seat
  • No, I don't like spicy food

Scrub Rd shelter. It's changed over the years, these play a pivotal role in sub24 bikepacks, dayrides etc as a place to meet, refuel, top off water bottles and find out where the heck you are on the map.

Past Mt Nebo village and back on the fast blacktop for a section to the top of Light Line.

The descent on Light Line is serious fun and technical on a loaded 'pack rig. Glimpses of our destination wink at us through the trees.

We skirted Lake Manchester for a bit, searching for a suitable bivvy site. We both had hammocks for the night, very little chance of rain overnight so it was under the stars with just a bit of Bushmans' to keep the bities off. A great site with plenty of hammock tie-off options, water access, a great big open sky and a symphony of frogs and birdlife to sooth our minds.

Lets touch on food tech for a little bit. It pays to be organised when planning out your meal strategy - practice on sub24s, then build the foundation from there for multi-day or multi-week forays. Regular readers of this blog will have seen some of my meal essentials (as well as some extravagant luxuries), but it can only be limited by your imagination, your tastes, your cook kit and your time available to prep it. Got an idea for a meal? Sub24 is where you get to test it baby - and have it critiqued by those around you too.

It's a very good idea to ration out meal parcels in sturdy ziplocks - either in per meal size or day size - so you know what you have and don't overeat, or undereat and miss out on replenishing your energy requirements. Never go to bed depleted. Ziplocks will contain any spillages and reduce meal loss. The better you experiment and plan in this area will ensure your meals hit the target on the trail. Remember this - you have the opportunity to practise your meals everytime you eat - at home and even at work. Okay Flyboy, I hear you - due to FAA rules you can't light up the alcohol stove in the cockpit...

Ahh, how's the serenity...

So, lets come back to food. 4 course meal - soup to start with, followed by cheesy bacon macaroni and tin tuna, then sausage (pronounce it sor-sarge (like fromage) if you want to make it sound fancy) in a blanket with bbq sauce, dessert was warm rice custard over a heavy slab of Lions fruitcake, Cherry ripe for lying in the hammock, staring at stars. Tres bien!

Cookware tonight is the Kovea ti stove, 600ml Evernew ti pot, Firemaple combo folding windbreak and pot stand. As a pot stand it worked brilliantly, I took along an Evernew  ti non-stick frypan for frying duties, the extra height provided by the Firemaple gave better results with better heat spread on the frypan.

Dessert was a real treat - more carbs and a big lump of sweet cake to fill up the tummy gaps. Tip: boil up some water, then let the tin stand (opened) in the water until desired temp is reached.

The last of the sunset and dinner complete, it was early into the hammocks to watch the night march in from the east.

No rain overnight. Bedding for me was an Exped Travel plus hammock, a silk bag liner, the trusty Mont Bell spiral down hugger bag (here I have unzipped the footbox, shoved the hammock through the bag so it slides over me and the hammock - very warm underneath as no down insulation is crushed) and my DIY pillow/stuffsack. Sleep in the riding kit.

Pillow/clothing stuffsack - I stitched this up from two microfibre face towels, with a drawstring at one end. Soft as a pillow, great as a towel and functional as a stuffsack for day/night clothes. When you think about all the stuff you carry - it has to perform at least two functions, or be exceptional and essential as a single function item.

 Brekky was a simple affair... chai, 3 cookies and warm muesli...


 ...and a bacon and egg toasted muffin! Luxury!

Fueled and loaded.

 The trails around the lake vary from barely there and bushwacking... doubletrack and graded trail with a few lumps. Scenic, peaceful and uncrowded.

In the vein of the sub24 overnighter, we left the lake for home. Today was about road not trail...but not all was to be blacktop.

We were heading for a shortcut back to Mt Crosby on a gravel grinder with a few lumps in it.

More essential blacktop, the legs felt light dancing on the pedals, a no chain day.

We finished back in town, the end of a great little trip that met the sub24 requirements and maintained our homelife commitments. Great op to refine the kiwi setup and share the camaraderie of a bikepack with a good mate.

So, what's stopping you?

1 comment:

  1. You won't be losing any weight eating like that!
    Nice ride and write up Troy. Good luck in NZ.